By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (AW) LaTunya Howard , Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs
MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- Navy Personnel Command allowed some employees to telework Aug. 3 to test new technology such as Defense Knowledge Online; remote access to Outlook and Defense Connect Online.
"There are two primary objectives for telework here and I think they mirror that of the Navy as a whole," said Steve Veach, director of Command Support Services at NPC. "The first is that we want to be the employer of choice here in the mid-South. To that end we want to provide as much flexibility as possible to our workforce."
Those with approved telework agreements, which number 91 at NPC, were able to participate in the telework day with their supervisor's permission. To sign up for teleworking, certain courses covering remote Web access and network security had to be documented in each employee's record along with a signed teleworking agreement between the employee and his or her supervisor. A teleworking plan with milestones for the day and lessons learned was typically required. Veach said the second objective was to practice establishing connectivity in case another Hurricane Katrina, an earthquake or other emergency were to force NPC to operate in another location.
"The ability for a significant portion of our workforce to continue to work from somewhere other than their normal workstations adds depth to our Continuity of Operations (COOP) plan should something physically happen to NPC. That's the other big reason we're doing it," said Veach. COOP is described in OPNAVINST 3030.5A as the capability of a Department of Defense component to continue mission-essential functions during national security emergencies and events requiring that all or part of the Department of the Navy be relocated or reconstituted.
With approximately 1,500 personnel, NPC's aim was to have at least five percent of its workforce capable of teleworking this year. Currently, more than six percent are signed up and have done the pre-requisite courses to telework. Both active duty and civilian personnel are eligible to telework.
Flexible work schedules; liberal leave policies; working from home or another location - these are the mark of many Top 50 employers across the nation. But in working remotely, the main question was, "can NPC deliver the services Sailors need?" NPC's bumper sticker is "Mission First, Sailors Always."
"Teleworking can provide a significant work-life enhancement and helps us move toward the concept that work is not necessarily a place that you go, it is what you do," said Rear Adm. Donald Quinn, NPC commander and deputy chief of Naval Personnel. "This capability also enhances our command's ability to function effectively in the event our normal spaces are unavailable due to a natural disaster."
For more news from Navy Personnel Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/npc/